Fifth Annual Human Empowerment Conference (HEC) Explores Key Hindu Issues
The evening sessions were focused around the life's work of Sita Ram Goel, one of the great Hindu thinkers and activists of the 20th century. The main lecture of the evening was by Dr. Valerie Tarico, a Seattle psychologist specially invited by the organizers to speak on Christian fundamentalism and evangelism. Her talk was riveting, as she herself came from a family of evangelists and early in life was a "true believer." She explained that it is these evangelists, the fundamentalists of Christianity, who are trying to convert the people of India. They are driven in their attempts by a belief in the Great Commiss ion, the idea in the New Testament that Christians are obliged to preach and convert all the peoples of the world.
Dr. Tarico did a scathing analysis of evangelical beliefs, beginning with the monotheism/Trinity of God conundrum and ending with their belief in Biblical inerrancy, that every single word of the Bible is true, even the most horrible punishments and genocide ordered by God. "These beliefs are not rational, not coherent," she boldly asserted. She warned Hindus that evangelicals have the power of American innovation behind them, marketing their product, Christian fundamentalism, with all the savvy of the most sophisticated Western corporation.
She said Hindus should regard the belief system of these fundamentalists as a force as deadly as drugs. In her conclusion, Dr. Tarico urged Hindus to "be more evangelical about what you do and know, especially your religious pluralism." "Right now, Hinduism is thought of as an antiquated bunch of people who think statues are God. But I think Hinduism offers a path, a power to sow the seeds of wisdom that we need. You need to evang elize the ideal of dharma to counteract the existing stereotypes of Hindu belief." # posted by nizhal yoddha @ 12:06 AM